Minor League Baseball announced on Thursday that it will start utilizing robotic umpires to help call balls and strikes in select Low-A Southeast Games.
The robotic umpires which will form part of the Automatic-Ball Strike System, is designed to increase action on the basepaths, create more balls in play, improve the pace and length of games, and reduce player injuries. This system has already been adopted by the independent Atlantic League and Arizona Fall League.
MLB has often tried new rules in the Minor League as a way of testing if these new rules can be implemented to the Major League. With baseball as a spectator sport continually evolving, the MLB has sought that the sport continues staying true to its essence with consistent action and athleticism to entertain its fans.
Furthermore, in Triple-A, the league will experiment with increasing the size of all bases, save for the home plate, from 15 inches square to 18 square inches in the hopes of reducing player injuries and collisions and to enable runners to steal more bases.
The robotic umpires have gotten mixed reviews from players, with the most criticism pointing to the robots limiting the ability of the catchers to frame a pitch – essentially baseball’s most fundamental interaction.
For more information, you may view the <a rel=”noreferrer noopener” href=”https://www.npr.org/2021/03/12/976383147/minor-league-baseball-to-experiment-with-robotic-umpires” target=”_blank”>Original Story</a> at NPR.